Lesotho: Declaration of Assets System revamped

Lesotho: Declaration of Assets System revamped

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 Public officers should accept that the declaration of assets is legally binding and should be adhered to, the Minister of Public Service said during the revamping of the Declaration of Assets System on Wednesday. 

Chief Thesele 'Maseribane was speaking during a press conference aimed at reminding public officers from Grade A upwards of their responsibility to declare their assets and interests as required by law. He said this subject was introduced in 2006 when Parliament passed the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Bill. He said the Public Service Regulations 2008 as a subsidiary legislation of the Public Service Act in giving effect to the provisions of the 2006 Act also legislated for the declaration of assets by Civil Servants.

With regard of the international commitments, he said it should be noted that Lesotho is a state party to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, saying as per the provisions of the Convention , Article 8 thereof, ach state party undertakes in appropriate circumstances and in accordance with the fundamental principles of the domestic law to establish measurements and systems requiring Public Officials to make declaration to appropriate authorities regarding their registrable interests, or benefits from which conflict of interest may result with respect to their functions as public officials.

Chief 'Maseribane therefore said he is working together with the Minister of Justice to ensure that Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Amendment Act 2006 is operational, saying as a result, declaration forms will duly be distributed and that majority of Cabinet members have already gone through the same route to declare their assets hence commended the move as a remarkable act that came after the Prime Minister's induction message that urged them to abide by the law.

He noted that since there are two methods of declaration thus; the open system and confidential system, the process will be handled with the utmost sensitivity and confidentiality, adding that follow-up forms will subsequently be filled as confirmation that officers have duly declared their assets.The Minister further mentioned that legal action will be taken against officers who fail to comply and that a circular will be dispatched to notify public officers of the initiative.

Meanwhile, Public Service Chief Legal Officer Advocate (Adv) 'Manneheneg Sefeane said the confidential system of declaration will be used to protect information, noting that public will not have access to such information as only the DCEO officer in charge will have access so that whenever need arises should scrutinise information provided when declaring assets.

Private agencies and organisations receiving government subvention are meanwhile also expected to declare assets of the royal assemble process.


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